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You can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time.

If you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, Social Security will reduce your benefit. 

If you claim Social Security before Full Retirement Age the limit on earned income is $18,240 ($1,520 per month) in 2020


If you are collecting Social Security retirement benefits before full retirement age, your benefits are reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over the limit. 

If you work and are full retirement age or older, there is no limit on the amount of money you may earn and still receive your full Social Security retirement benefit.

Taking Social Security early

Beginning to receive Social Security benefits at age 62 decreases the amount you receive by 30%. The reduction for starting benefits at age 63 is about 25%; 64 is about 20%; 65 is about 13.3%; and 66 is about 6.7%.

The amount you can earn while receiving Social Security depends on your age. Your earnings in (and after) the month you reach full retirement age will not affect your Social Security benefits. However, your benefit is reduced if your earnings exceed certain limits for the months before you reach your full retirement age.   

Full retirement age

Full retirement age (FRA) is set to increase by two months each year until it hits 67, as follows:
  • Age 66 if born between 1943-1954
  • Age 66 and 2 months if born in 1955
  • Age 66 and 4 months if born in 1956
  • Age 66 and 6 months if born in 1957
  • Age 66 and 8 months if born in 1958
  • Age 66 and 10 months if born in 1959
  • Age 67 if born in 1960

The absolute earliest you can start claiming Social Security retirement benefits is 62. You can apply at age 61 and 9 months.  

If you are already receiving your retirement benefits, a special higher earnings limit applies in the calendar year you turn your full retirement age. 
 

If you claim Social Security benefits during the year in which you will reach Full Retirement Age the earnings limit is $48,600 ($4,050 per month).  Once you reach Full Retirement Age, there is no earnings limit


Your benefits are reduced $1 for every $3 earned over the limit.   

The same earnings limits apply to a spouse or child who works and receives benefits on your record. 

You should report earnings to the SSA for any months and years prior to full retirement age.

Be sure to contact your tax planning professional or Social Security with questions.

Source:  SSA.gov